The first round of World Cup group stage games comes to a close as Russia face South Korea in Cuiabá on Tuesday. Drawn in Group H alongside Algeria and strong favorites Belgium, both sides know that a victory would be a massive step towards progression into the knockout stages.
Russia head into the match as favorites, with veteran coach Fabio Capello having enjoyed a successful tenure since taking charge a couple of years ago. The Italian has revamped Russia's national team, and led them safely to Brazil after they disappointingly missed out on the World Cup in South Africa four years ago.
However, it hasn't always been plain sailing in the run up to Brazil. Russia head into the World Cup without their captain Roman Shirokov, who didn't recover from a knee injury sustained back in April in time to make Capello's 23-man squad. It's a big blow, and one that could prove costly against a South Korea side that shouldn't be underestimated.
South Korea have a couple of highly exciting talents, including Son Heung-Min who has enjoyed a wonderful season in Bayer Leverkusen's attacking trident, and striker Ji Dong-Won, who recently earned a move to Borussia Dortmund. They're certainly stronger up top than at the back, though certainly have the potential to cause an upset with their attacking firepower.
However, they've struggled for form heading into the tournament, suffering a narrow defeat to lowly Tunisia and a heavy one to fellow World Cup qualifiers Ghana. They haven't won a competitive match since downing Uzbekistan in a World Cup qualifier over a year ago, and Russia will no doubt try to capitalise on any shortage in confidence.
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 6 p.m. ET
Venue: Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá, Brazil
TV: ESPN (U.S. - English), Univision (U.S. - Spanish), CBC (Canada - English), Univision Canada (Canada - Spanish), Mediaset Italia (Canada - Italian), BBC One (U.K.), Channel One Russia (Russia), SBS Korea (South Korea)
United States announcers: Daniel Mann, Kasey Keller
Online: Watch ESPN (U.S. - English), Univision Deportes En Vivo (U.S. - Spanish), CBC Sports Live Streaming (Canada), BBC iPlayer (U.K.)